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Business News of Wednesday, 18 May 2016


Pay $400m debt to ECG – Akosa tells gov’t

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), has challenged the Mahama administration to clear its indebtedness to the ailing Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to him, ECG would be well positioned to work efficiently if the government, as well as all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) paid their debts to the company.

Prof. Akosa, who was under cross-examination in the case in which he and four others have sued the government over attempts to privatize ECG through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), claimed government owed ECG $400 million.

He argued that Ghana’s worst challenge in the energy sector is power generation and that waiting to sign private partnership agreements is not an immediate solution to the challenges in the sector.

Admitting that the ECG has to restructure and reform, the senior pathologist indicated that it is wrong for the country to depend on foreign companies.

Prof. Akosa, who was represented by Bright Akwetey, in an answer to a claim by Tony Lithur, lawyer for the ECG, that the contract is a state-to-state agreement and that parliament also did a thorough job in respect of the deal, reacted that he was skeptical parliament did a “thorough” job, adding that there were many examples that parliament had failed the people of Ghana.

An Accra Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Anthony K. Yeboah has adjourned sitting until today.

Prof. Akosa, Kinsley Kwasitsu Esq, Naa Kordai Assimeh, Dr. Adolf Lutterodt and Dede Amanor Wilks – all CPP members – have sued the government, arguing among other things, that MiDA intends to conduct an international competitive tender to select a company with the expertise in investment, management and distribution of electricity with the objective of selecting a suitable company to run the ECG before the end this year.

The plaintiffs are of the view that the government’s attempts to privatise ECG is inimical to the interest of Ghana and Ghanaians.

Mr. Akwetey said it is risky to entrust the administration of ECG to a private company, especially when electricity is a security asset of vital national importance and value.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer stated that ECG’s control by any foreign or other private company is likely to jeopardize the security of the country.

The plaintiffs contended that it is public knowledge that the government owes ECG $400 million, which has been withheld from the company deliberately in order to weaken its administration and prepare it for a take-over by a private company to the detriment of the economy of Ghana.